When birthdays roll around in the Wahlund family the honoree gets to select their birthday treat. Years ago when my boys were young, their dad decided he wanted pie instead of cake for his birthday celebrations. His choice from that point forward was a Lemon Meringue Pie. Well, Ryan and Kyle decided that was a tradition they too would carry on, so on their birthdays they now ask for some kind of pie as their special treat.
March brings Ryan’s birthday so when I asked him what he wanted me to make for his big day, of course he said, "Pie." He is a berry-lover so he asked for some kind of berry pie – blueberry, strawberry or mixed berry. I went to landolakes.com and searched for berry pies and came upon Mixed Berry Almond Pie. I thought I would give it a test run as I wasn’t sure if Ryan would want a berry almond pie – he tends to be a traditionalist and doesn’t deal very well with change. I, on the other hand, loved the idea of a new twist on an old favorite.
It’s made with your choice of mixed berries – blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and/or sliced strawberries. So far this fit the bill perfectly! The almonds are finely chopped and added to the crust, and a touch of almond flavoring is added to the filling. Sounds delicious to me!
Begin by heating the oven to 425°F. Next, finely chop the almonds. A food processor is a quick way to finely chop any kind of nut.
It is important to chop them very finely as shown in the picture.
In a large bowl combine the flour, finely chopped almonds and salt.
Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Now add cold water to moisten the flour to form a dough.
Stir with a fork until the dough is formed.
Divide the dough in half. Shape each half into a ball and flatten slightly. Wrap one ball in plastic food wrap and refrigerate it.
Roll out the other ball of dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch circle.
To make it easier to move the dough to the pie pan just fold the circle into quarters.
Then carefully place it into an ungreased pie plate.
Unfold the dough and press it firmly against the bottom and sides of the pie plate.
Trim the crust to ½ inch from the edge of the pan and then set it aside. I like to use a kitchen shears to trim pie crust but a knife will work, too.
Next, in a large bowl combine all the filling ingredients except the egg. Toss lightly to coat the berries. I love that you can use fresh or frozen berries in this recipe. I used fresh berries in this pie, but you can always substitute frozen berries if you’re in a pinch. I used a mixture of blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.
Spoon the filling into the prepared crust.
Now it’s time to make the lattice crust. A lattice crust is easy to make but looks like you are a creative genius. It starts with rolling out the second ball of dough that was flattened, wrapped and refrigerated. Be sure to roll it out on a lightly floured surface. Roll it into a 12-inch circle. With a sharp knife or a pastry wheel cut out 12 (1-inch) strips. A pastry wheel is a great kitchen gadget that looks a bit like a small pizza cutter. Actually, a pizza cutter would work fine to cut the dough, too.
Place 6 dough strips 1-inch apart over the filling.
Place the remaining 6 dough strips at an angle to the dough strips already in place on the filling.
Trim the ends of the dough strips to be even with the crust. Again, I like to use kitchen shears for easy cutting.
Fold the bottom crust over the strips (this is why you trimmed the bottom crust leaving a ½ inch of dough around the edge).
Build up the edge and then crimp or flute the edge. To crimp or flute means to pinch or press the edge of the pie crust to form a decorative edge and to seal the dough. I use the knuckle of one finger positioned inside the pie crust and then, with the other hand, pinch the dough around the knuckle from the outside edge of the pie crust. Repeat this motion all around the edge of the pie.
Brush the crust, lattice dough strips and edge, with the beaten egg. This will give the crust a nice golden brown color after baking.
Bake the pie for 40 to 50 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned and the juice in the filling begins to bubble. If the crust is browning too quickly, cover the top of the pie with aluminum foil. Also, if you use frozen fruit, increase the baking time by 15 minutes.
The pie was a hit here in the Test Kitchens. I think it just might be worthy of a birthday celebration.
I’d love to hear about your experience making Mixed Berry Almond Pie so please write a comment and rate and review this recipe.
Come back in a few days when Mallory will share a springtime tart recipe.
Becky Wahlund is the Director of the Test Kitchens for Land O'Lakes and writes for our Recipe Buzz® Blog.